Friday, January 31, 2014

Year of the Wood Horse

It is Chinese New Year and is the Year of the Wood Horse.  I was born under the year of the Fire Horse.

A bit of background on the Chinese Zodiac:

The Chinese New Year in 2014 is celebrated on Friday, January 31, marking the beginning of the Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac.  According to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the first day of the Chinese lunar year may fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February.  It is the most important festival of the Chinese people.

The Chinese lunar calendar incorporates both the lunar cycle and the position of the sun.  According to legend, the calendar dates back of 2600 B.C., when the mythical Yellow Emperor started the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac and named an animal to represent each year in the 12-year cycle - Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

The Sign of the Horse

If you were born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, or 2014, you were born under the sign of the horse.

The horse if one of the Chinese people's favorite animals and has become closely linked to people's lives.  It provided a quick and useful mode of transportation before the invention of vehicles.  One of the ways the horse serves human beings is to give people a ride to their destination.  Therefore, the horse is not only a symbol of travel, but also a sign of speedy success.

The horse ranks seventh among the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.  People born in the Year of the Horse are highly animated, active, and energetic.  They are typically very elegant, independent, gentle, and hardworking.

Their most striking characteristic is their strong self-confidence.  Thus the Year of the Horse is a time for all people to go forward confidently in the direction of their goals and dreams, just as the horse gallops at top speed toward its destination.  The arrival of the Year of the Horse is a time to reconcile differences, let go of all grudges, and sincerely wish everyone peace, health, and happiness.

According to the cycle of the five elements in the Chinese Zodiac, 2014 is the year of the Wooden Horse, which is regarded as a year of quick victories, unexpected adventures, and surprising romances.

Wishing everyone a prosperous new year with victories, adventures and romance.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chicken Soup

With the ingredients hanging around the house, I decided to make chicken soup.  I had to supplement with the pasta, but the results were delicious.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Persimmon Cookies

My dad has a huge persimmon tree in the backyard and he brought the left over crop down for me during the holidays.  I like the firm fruit but most of the reminders were too soft so I used the pulp to make cookies.

I got out my trusty silpat and mixed up a batch of cookies.
I substituted craisins for raisins.  Great flavors and a good source of fiber.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Santouka Ramen

I went by the Mitsuwa market and inside is Santouka, a ramen place.  The array of choices was mind boggling but they had a nice display of their offerings.  All cash and no take out.

I ended up with a small ramen with soy sauce and salmon roe with rice.
Very filling.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cu Chi Tunnel

One of the stops we made was to Cu Chi, a historical monument to the ravages of war and how the vietnamese survived during the War.
There were exhibits and movies as well as traps and tunnels for the adventurous to crawl.
There was also cooking preparation and exhibits on the type of food that kept people alive.  We were able to try a potato like root vegetable which was pretty starchy and bland.
There was also a shooting range where you could try your hand at really old weapons.  
After seeing that people did not even have ear protection, I walked pretty far from the area and ducked into the gift shop.
Of course, the viewpoint of most of the narrative was against the USA which was expected.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


I was able to finish another work in progress for January and it is the Citron shawl.
I got the fiber color of 2013 from Judith MacKenzie and spun up a lace weight of polworth/silk for 688 yards.  I finished spinning it and start the shawl here.

I modified the pattern to increase the sections by another 2 for a total of 7 and the last ruffle did not have more than 2 rows.

I only have this little bit left.
I was suppose to have this to show and tell at the 2014 Mo Ranch retreat, but since I don't have anymore vacation time, I could not attend this March.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

We left Cambodia and boarded a plane for Ho Chi Minh City, our first stop in Vietnam.

We arrived late in the day and had dinner right from the airport at Song Ngu.  The entire dinner was made up of seafood since it is plentiful.
All the dishes were made for this restaurant and matched.
We stayed at the Sheraton Saigon.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Turn a Square

I finished knitting the Turn a Square hat for my old boss and sent it off in the mail.  The yarn is pretty old as I got the variegated yarn - Brooks Farm Four Play that I bought in 2008 and the gray yarn - Berroco Comfort DK from 2009.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Angkor Wat Part 2

We re-visited Angkor Wat as part of our second tour and we did not walk as much as we got to take toot toot rides.  
We hit a few different view points and I got some additional photos.
We saw elephants but did not get to ride on them.
More faces.
More trees.
Another dog.
And a beautiful sunset.